The best shampoo bars for carry-on travel

The Best Shampoo Bars For Carry-On Travel

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Traveling with only carry-on luggage is a great way to make vacations easier. It minimizes the risk of lost or broken bags, and saves you from having to pay the ever-increasing checked baggage fees. I mean, seriously. Those fees add up to lots of money!

Plus, carry-on travel saves a ton of time from not having to wait around baggage claim after the flight, and being able to snag a taxi before everyone who IS still waiting for their bags to arrive!

One of the biggest headaches of carry-on travel is meeting the liquid restrictions. Shampoo bars are awesome for cutting down on your liquids. Read on to learn more about shampoo bars and check our list of the best shampoo bars for traveling!

What Are Shampoo Bars?

Shampoo bars are ultra concentrated shampoo in the form of a solid bar. While regular soap bars can be drying when used on hair, shampoo bars are specifically formulated for hair to prevent dryness.

Many shampoo bars use ethical packaging, which helps cut the amount of plastic out there in the environment. They come in a wide range of formulas and scents to please even the pickiest shampoo lover. Lush, gorgeous hair, eco-friendliness, and convenience in one tiny package? YES PLEASE!

How Well Do Shampoo Bars Lather?

While they say lather isn’t necessary for a good shampoo, we all know we really love a well-lathering shampoo. These bars lather up surprisingly well!

You can use it by running the bar down soaking wet hair and lathering it up. You can instead rub it between your wet hands to build up lather and massage into your hair and scalp.

How to Make Your Shampoo Bar Last

One bar of shampoo can last as long as 2-3 full-size bottles of shampoo! The best way to keep your shampoo bar lasting as long as possible is to let it fully dry out between uses. Try placing it on a soap dish that allows draining, or set it outside your shower away from water.

This shampoo bar travel case keeps your bar nice and dry and is handy for tossing in your carry-on bag. It’s made from bamboo and cornstarch, and is fully compostable yet will last for up to 5 years!

Need help picking the perfect underseat carry-on luggage? Here’s our top picks!

Why Shampoo Bars Are PERFECT For Carry-on Travel

When you’re flying, you must follow TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids. The rule means your liquid-containing bottles (including shampoos!) must be 3.4 ounces or smaller, and all containers must fit inside one quart-sized resealable bag.

In addition, you can’t bring full-size liquid containers even if they only have a little bit in the bottle and contain less than the 3.4 ounces. TSA will make you throw it away at the checkpoint.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to use a bunch of shampoo. That’s not a lot of room, especially for extended trips. Sure, you could swing by a convenience store and pick some up while on vacation. But really, who wants to shop for toiletries on vacay?

Shampoo bars are an excellent way to cut down the amount of shampoo you need to bring. Even better, it’s one less item to potentially leak and make a mess in your bag.

Need to minimize frizz while on a beach vacay? Want one to boost shine? There’s a shampoo bar out there for every hair need. Here’s a list of the best shampoo bars!

Lush Seanik

Lush is one of the most well-loved brands for beauty and self-care, so it’s no surprise their Seanik Shampoo Bar is so popular! Boost volume, add shine and leave hair feeling soft, nourished and sensational with this beachy shampoo bar filled with seaweed, sea salt and lemon oil.

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Coconut Smiles Shampoo Bar 

The coconut lime smell of Coconut Smiles Shampoo Bar is just what every tropical trip is calling for. The shampoo bar will last so long you’ll be channeling the vacay vibes every time you wash your hair back home. The perfume-free scent derived from Coconut and Lime essential oils will leave your hair fresh and clean! Its tartly sweet aroma creates an invigorating aromatherapy experience.

Our Pick

Sweet & Sassy 3 Shampoo Bars

This perfume-free scent derived from Coconut and Lime essential oils will leave your hair fresh and clean! Its tartly sweet aroma creates an invigorating aromatherapy experience.

Ethique Frizz Wrangler

I have crazy thick hair (seriously, every hair salon everrrr has been shocked when they start washing it!) and Ethique’s Frizz Wrangler makes it so much smoother!

I was a little worried the first time I used it, because I love shampoos that lather nicely. Well, I had nothing to fear. Frizz Wrangler lathered wonderfully, and smelled great too!

Our Pick

Ethique Solid Shampoo Bar for Dry or Frizzy Hair

FRIZZ WRANGLER is a vegan shampoo bar that hydrates your curls for a frizz-free, smooth finish without weighing hair down. Perfect shampoo for dry hair, frizzy hair or curly hair!

Dollylocks Organic Shampoo Bar for Dreadlocks

Dollylocks shampoo bar for dreadlocks is derived from organic sources such as coconut, sea salt, shea butter, and oil extracts from seeds and fruits. All plant-based ingredients used in our shampoo bar help strengthen and improve elasticity.

Our Pick

Dollylocks Organic Shampoo Bar for Dreadlocks

Dollylocks Shampoo Bar is formulated to clean dreadlocks and leave them soft, smelling great, and squeaky clean. This can be a great addition to your dreadlock hair care routine, with the harmony of uplifting scents and aromas that you’ll love.

Whiff Shampoo Bar

For a simple, unscented shampoo bar, Whiff Freedom Shampoo Bar is perfect! It’s made with only 4 main ingredients, and is safe for color-treated hair. The coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and cocoa butter are super moisturizing!

Our Pick

Spiraleaf Whiff Shampoo and Shave Bar UNSCENTED

Containing no fragrances, scents or colorings, UNSCENTED shampoo bars provide you with a rich, moisturizing lather that leaves your hair feeling clean, healthy, and manageable and looking great!

You’ve gotta read this post if you’re looking for more ways to travel with zero liquids in your carry-on

What About Conditioner Bars?

Don’t worry, I gotchu boo! Some find the shampoo bars to be moisturizing enough to go without conditioner. For those who do need the extra boost of conditioning, there are plenty of solid conditioner bars for you to pick from!

Ethique Wonderbar

Ethique Wonderbar has coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vanilla and smells amazing. It’s perfect for normal to oily hair, and can also be used as a shaving bar, which means one less item to pack!

Our Pick

Ethique Solid Conditioner Bar for Curly Hair

Hydrate your curls & restore shine without weighing hair down, all with a divine lemongrass & coconut smell. Made with a luxurious blend of ingredients like shea butter, jojoba & cocoa butter for soft hair and defined curls.

Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner

The Jungle Solid Conditioner by Lush is almost good enough to taste, with a base of cocoa butter, mashed bananas, and avocado. It’ll leave your hair nice and smooth, and smells incredible too!

Coconut Smiles 

This Coconut Smiles Solid Conditioner pairs perfectly with the Coconut Smiles Shampoo Bar above. It uses all natural ingredients and smells just as delicious as the shampoo!

Our Pick

Sweet & Sassy Conditioner Bar

These solid conditioners are the ideal shape and size for travel. They will not be subject to airport liquid rules and can easily slip into your travel or gym bag.

Have you tried shampoo bars yet? Which one is your favorite?


Hi, I’m Natasha!

I’m a lover of yoga, essential oils, and traveling. I’ve lived in Florida, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and now I live in the mountains of Colorado with my husband Dan and our two pups, Roxy & Rico.

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